Format a brand new drive

Posted on 2006-11-01
Last Modified: 2010-04-26

I have a brand new 250GB hard drive and I would like to format it so I can use it as an external USB drive.

I have formatted hard drives before but my new computer does not have a floppy drive only a dvd-rw drive.

What is the best way to format the new drive?


Question by:baxleyb
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LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 17853386
You can open up your machine and connect it as a slave (if it is IDE) or to an SATA controller (if it is SATA).  Use Disk Management to format it as NTFS or FAT32.  NTFS has folder permissions and FAT32 lets you connect to Macs.

Author Comment

ID: 17854465
i tried that before and it did not work.

It did not give me an option to format nor did it say it was unallocated disk space.


Author Comment

ID: 17854469
By the way I have an HP a1310n, it has a sata drive with ide connections.


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Expert Comment

ID: 17854728
Please right click on my computer and then click on manage, go to disk management, here you should see the drive that is attached, please format it here.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 17854847
Is the drive already formatted?  If so, you don't need to do anything else to use it in a USB drive.  If you still want to format it and are running WinXP, the instructions are here:

Expert Comment

ID: 17854886
If you like to do stuff through the old Command Promt way you can also do it through there.

Just hook the drive up through USB to your computer. It will then receive a drive letter.  Remember this Driver letter (probably D or E or F)

Click on Start...
Choose Run....
Hit OK...

this brings up the command prompt.

You can now type in

Format e: /FS:FAT32

You would replease 'e' with whatever your drives name is.

I suggest you set the file system to FAT32 and not NTFS just for more compatibility.

Good luck.


Expert Comment

ID: 17855772
You can directly proceed with housing your new drive into the USB casing and plugin to your PC for hardware detection and then
Do the format as described by experts above by going to your Computer Management Console Disk Management.

Not an issue but for securitywise, NTFS is the one
FAT32 or NTFS: Making the Choice


Expert Comment

ID: 17859734
Just connect it to your computer and format it using whatever program you want.
The only problem that could be is that you board may not support the size of this drive and you will need to update your bios in order for your board to work properly with your new HD.

Although you should be able to connect it to the USB and you should not have a problem since the USB uses a  software based driver and the board uses a controller that you cannot so easily change and has a preset that dates to the time it was created. so if you try to connect a newer or a bigger drive then they expected you to have, then you board simply will not know how to deal with it.

Connect to the USB and then tell us what happened.

Author Comment

ID: 17946597

I've been real busy and will ty out some of these suggestions. please don't close this question.



Author Comment

ID: 17999453

I got it working and ended up doing the following:

1. Disconnected my existing main hard drive
2. Connected the new drive as a master
3. Run a windows 2000 disc to format and install the operating system on the new drive
4. Reconnect my existing main hard drive
5. Connect the new drive to the external USB enclosure
6. Delete the OS and all files
7. Drive is ready to go.

I think Callandor was the closest so I'll award the points to him.



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